Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Making Behaving Well Fun

There are many ways we can trick our children into behaving well, without them realizing that this is our intention. If we can make behaving well seem like fun this will create a positive atmosphere anywhere you are.

Here are some ideas usually carried out in good pre-schools, but i find can be carried out in the home as well, for parents with young children.

  • Turn control tasks into a game.
    • Think about the way that you present tasks and activities to your children. Use language that suggests fun and challenge reather than boredom and hard work.
    • For instance, you might want your child(ren) to lie down and be still for story time at the end of the day. Instead of telling the children the required behaviour in a dull way, introduce the task as a game called "Sleeping Lions"... in which they must pretend to be lions who are fast asleep. What happens when lions wake up? This activity can also be used when there is a sleeping baby in the house. The baby is the "lion" in the game.. we are the prey (smaller animals lions love to eat). When baby wakes up, baby will create an uproar... (with the crying!)... and we sure don't want that, cause it will mean less time spent together doing fun stuff.
  • Enter the world of make believe.
    • Young children respond to make-believe and to the chance to use their imaginations. The opportunity to be someone, something or somewhere they are not.
    • For example, if you want them to tidy up the room very quietly, you might tell them to imagine that beneath the floor is a sleeping giant, and that they are walking across his back and must not wake him up.
  • [For older children] Treat them as adults sometimes...
    • One very useful fiction is that children gradually become more adult and grown up. For instance, you might ask the child(ren) to play the role of Science professors while working on an experiment. Taking on the role of an expert in this way encourages child(ren) to take responsiblity for their work and behaviour. Interact with them as though they are adults, expressing surprise at any silliness. ie. "I can hardly believe you are doing that Professor Benny, seeing as you're a world-reknowned scientist!"

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